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Teenagers & Hpv

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lornat
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Should Vaccination for HPV Be Mandated for Teenage Girls?
Yes: Joseph E. Balog, a health science professor, believes there is a moral justification to institute a mandatory vaccine for the HPV virus. He speaks of the significance of the polio epidemic and how the decision to implement a vaccination was effective and resulted in the elimination of the disease.
Since this infection is transmitted through sexual intercourse he uses data from high school public information and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish numbers that show evidence of the problem. He feels it is unlikely teaching abstinence will result in a realistic solution and would not be as effective as a vaccine.
No: Law Professors Gail Javitt and Lawrence Gostin and physician Deena Berkowitz believe we do not have enough data and history to mandate this vaccine currently. Although clinical trials have some information, they contend it is widely known these trials cannot represent all aspects that may be harmful, resulting from a particular product such as Gardasil. Because of these and many other concerns they do not support this drug being instituted in a mandatory way to teenage girls.
I wrestle with my own personal opinion regarding this topic for several reasons. HPV is transmitted through sexual activity and directly linked to Cervical Cancer. Data shows an increased occurrence in younger woman in their child bearing and child rearing years. I personally experienced the fear of this virus in my early thirties as I had numerous “pap tests” come back with suspicious cell changes that ultimately resulted in a hysterectomy. I was tested for this virus and the results were negative. Although I understand, and consider myself a proponent of eradication of diseases that plague our country in the most expedient manner possible, I am hesitant to get on a band wagon of mandates that may not have history, nor a clear element of safety to those receiving this vaccine. Clinical trials cannot give a complete picture of all possible side effects and long-term health concerns until we have a longer history by which to judge effectiveness and safety.
There is also concern regarding government involvement referring to this as “overreaching police powers authority.” One columnist wrote, “For the government to mandate the expensive vaccine for children would be for Big Brother to reach past the parents and into the home.” The suggestion is made to approach the problem with an “Opt-in” option placing the public in charge of their own decision to vaccinate.
I believe we do not have enough information to mandate this vaccine at this point in time. There are too many variables to consider before instituting this with young girls who may or may not choose to become sexually active before trials have sufficient history to give us the full picture. Society can deal with hard facts and scientific certainties that will be transparent over time better than feeling forced to comply with a mandate that “might” prove beneficial.…...

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